The NYU German Department presents Fliegen und Moose. Physikotheologie bei Brockes und Stifter, a public talk by Professor Eva Geulen (Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung).
In the wake of discussions around world and worlds triggered by globalization, older models of conceptualizing the world have gained renewed attention. Among them is the early Enlightenment's concept of physicotheology which draws on medieval notions of micro-and macrocosm. In the lecture, I revisit two instances of physicotheology in the 18th-century (B.H. Brockes "Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott") and in the 19th-century (Stifter's "Kuß von Sentze") in an attempt to draw out the potential relevance of this concept today.
Eva Geulen is Director of the Centre for Literary and Cultural Research and teaches at Humboldt University in Berlin. She studied German Literature and Philosophy at the University of Freiburg and The Johns Hopkins University. She has held teaching positions at Stanford University, the University of Rochester and New York University and was Professor of German Literature at the University of Bonn and at Goethe University Frankfurt. Her research focusses on literature and philosophy from the 18th- century to the present, pedagocial discourse around 1800 and 1900 as well as Goethe’s morphology and its reception in the 20th century. Her publications include "Aus dem Leben der Form. Goethes Morphologie und die Nager (August Verlag 2016), "The End of Art. Readings of a Rumor after Hegel" (Stanford University Press, 2006); "Giorgio Agamben zur Einführung" (Junius Verlag, 2005, 3rd edition 2016), “Worthörig wider Willen. Darstellungsproblematik und Sprachreflexion in der Prosa Adalbert Stifters” (1992), as well as essays on Nietzsche, Benjamin, Raabe, Th. Mann and others. She has been co-editor of the journal "Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie" since 2004.